The Power of Visual Storytelling: What Image Will Move us Next?

Posted by Sarah Clark on February 3, 2015

The Power of Visual Storytelling

In the age of don’t blink, it’s about the moments that make you linger.

That really hit home with me when I had the chance to hear James Quarles, Global Head of Business and Brand Development at Instagram, speak to a group of leaders from the Dentsu Aegis Network in Nashville last week. James delivered an amazing talk, chock-full of observations about using images to tell stories.

Right now, organizations are either disrupting or being disrupted. In part, because shifts, like the massive democratization of media, are accelerating at a powerful rate. Platforms like Instagram and Vimeo, and new tech capabilities like GoPro, have allowed consumers to be a part of the story and help create it. Just like everyone with a smartphone today can be a journalist, anyone with a camera can be a visual chronicler of the moments that make up a human life, and ultimately human history. Moments that are both deeply personal and as Instagram teaches us, profoundly shareable.

Sixty percent of young millennials use Instagram daily, and they are forming communities beyond the virtual. Instagram members with a common passion now come together at Instameets in the physical world. And more and more brands are using Instagram to connect with people and the things they care about. Check out Microsoft’s #DoMore everyday Instagram campaign, featuring people doing extraordinary things around the world.

What makes for successful visual storytelling?

  1. It’s not about selling. It’s about connecting in authentic and ongoing ways.
  2. It offers a solution that makes something or someone better.
  3. It inspires our imagination.
  4. It makes us look at things differently and challenges our perceptions.
  5. It’s universal and goes beyond border, culture or language.

Public Relations is uniquely positioned to help brands develop compelling content. We know a great story when we see it. It has always been part of our core. We know what moves people and makes them feel something. We understand the importance of authenticity. And we understand how to marry the power of words with the power of images. We just need to take full advantage of the constantly changing storytelling tools today and amplify them across channels. As we crank the content engine, what image will move us next?

Topics: Digital Marketing, Creative